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Effect of Sulfate Reduction on Chemical Oxygen Demand Removal in an Anaerobic Baffled Reactor

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Abstract:

Laboratory studies were conducted to investigate the effect of sulfate reduction on chemical oxygen demand (COD) removal in an eight-compartment anaerobic baffled reactor (ABR) at two CODto-sulfate (SO4 2−) ratios (40 [corresponding to 100 mg/L SO4 2−] and 8 [500 mg/L SO4 2−]) with an influent COD concentration of 4000 mg/L. The COD was composed of a carbohydrate (sucrose) and protein (peptone) mixture. Sulfate reduction, which had a maximum rate of 0.22 kg SO4 2−/kg volatile suspended solids·d, was primarily confined to the first compartment but was incomplete. It was hypothesized that poor scavenging capacity and sulfate deficiency were responsible. The dissolved sulfide concentrations experienced during this work were less than 130 mg/L (or 4% in gaseous phase) and typically less than the levels expected to cause bacterial inhibition; however, various trophic groups, especially acetogenic bacteria, seemed to be acutely inhibited by hydrogen sulfide (H2S). In contrast, low concentrations of reduced sulfide (15 mg/L H2S(aq)) generated from sulfate reduction stimulated reductive methanogenesis. Nevertheless, overall COD removal decreased with increased sulfate addition and seemed to be influenced by residual COD production. The volatile fatty acid results obtained during this work were consistent with literature findings, namely, acetate accumulation and lack of acetoclastic activity, improved propionate use, and inert butyrate use.

Keywords: ANAEROBIC BAFFLED REACTOR; SULFATE REDUCTION; SULFIDE TOXICITY; VOLATILE FATTY ACID DEGRADATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/106143000X138175

Publication date: 2000-09-01

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  • Water Environment Research® (WER®) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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